Friday, July 06, 2018
The Vision (7.6.18): Of Man's Free Will in the State of Glory
Note: This devotion was taken from the Sunday afternoon sermon on Sunday, June 24.
This will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone in the state of glory only (Second London Baptist Confession 9:5).
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2).
We are reminded here that there will be no sin in heaven. Our inclination to sin will be taken away. The redeemed man in the glorified state will not be able to sin.
Thomas Boston in his classic work Human Nature in Its Fourfold State reflects on this:
The dominion of the saints will be a dominion far exceeding that of the greatest monarch who ever was on earth. They will be absolute masters over sin, which had the dominion over them. They will have complete rule over their own spirits; an entire management of all their affections and inclinations, which now create them so much molestation…. (p. 434).
They shall be free from temptation: Satan can have no access to tempt them any more, by himself or his agents (p. 437).
Absolute innocence shall then be restored, and every appearance of sin banished from this kingdom. The guilt of sin, and the reigning power of it are even now taken away in the saints; nevertheless, sin dwells in them (Rom 7:20). But then it shall be no more in them: the corrupt nature will be quite removed; the root of bitterness will be plucked up, and no vestiges of it left in their souls: their nature shall be altogether pure and sinless. There shall be no darkness in their minds, but the understanding of every saint, when he comes to his kingdom, will be as a globe of pure and unmixed light (pp. 437-438).
Consider the things that you struggle with now, things perhaps that torment your conscience. The believer will one day be completely free from such things.
And this will be “immutably” done (see confession 9:5). Nothing will be able to alter this blessed state. Just as the Lord preserves the saints in the faith in this life, he will preserve their perfect sanctity in glory. And no one will complain that his “free will” has been violated!
His gracious presence makes a mighty change upon the saints in this world: His glorious presence in heaven, then, must needs raise their graces to perfection, and elevate their capacities. The saints experience that the presence of God, now with them in His grace, can make a little heaven of a sort of hell. How great then must the glory of heaven be, by His presence there in His glory! If a candle, in some sort, beautifies a cottage or prison, how will the shining sun beautify a palace or paradise! (pp. 450-451).
The glorious presence of God in heaven, will put a glory in the saints themselves (p. 451).
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle